Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ZUNAR: CARTOONING FOR JUSTICE

From Malaysiakini, 11 January 2007:

Lampooning for justice - meet Zunar

Not taking sides in politics is one way of taking sides.

These are the words of wisdom from Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, arguably the only political cartoonist in Malaysia who has no qualms about crossing the line.

“If you’re not taking sides, then more often than not, you’re siding with a crook," he added when met a cafĂ© in Kuala Lumpur recently to talk about the launching of his new book.


Zulkiflee, popularly known as Zunar, said he researches thoroughly before committing his ideas to paper. "I sketch with my heart, and draw with my brain," he explains.

His cartoons have raised many eyebrows, even among the opposition, for its attacks against ruling Barisan Nasional politicians.

Zunar, who also contributes regularly to Malaysiakini, said cartoonists, like journalists, also have a responsibility to speak out against injustices and corruption in all forms.

"In a contest between two uneven opponents - one a giant such as BN with all the government machineries at its disposal, the other a tiny player with all the odds stacked against him - being strictly fair is not actually being just.

"Cartoonists have to criticise those in power, and criticise to the fullest, because they were picked by the people. You don’t criticise those whose homes have been demolished, you criticise the ones who do the demolishing," he said.

"One day, when the field has been levelled, and the press is truly open, then it would be fair and just to criticise both the ruling and opposition," he said.

"When that happens, or if PKR comes to power, I’ll be the first to criticise," added the editor of the PKR organ, Seruan Keadilan.

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